Nine Months More

The Soccer Fable

Once upon a time there lived a little family: a daddy, a mummy, with their two little boys and their two little bunnies. In this little family, the daddy worked hard: long hours and late nights. In this little family the mummy juggled: the boys, her work and the house. She read all the parenting books, parenting articles, latest studies and latest trends. In this little family, daddy made suggestions, but mummy set him straight. Until one day something very interesting happened.

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“Don’t enrol them in soccer this term. I want to take them to my old soccer club this term, just to see how they go.” That was how the year started. Hubby wanting our boys to play soccer at the club he played with when he was young, the club he still supports and goes to every week.

I hated the idea. I didn’t want my boys in a soccer club just yet, they were too little. A soccer program, yes. But a proper soccer club with training sessions and match days, no. Hubby was adamant, I was silently defiant.

“The first four weeks are free soccer training sessions at the club. The kids do soccer drills and have a bit of fun, let’s take them and see how they go?”

I agreed, not because I thought it was a good idea, but because I thought four weeks and we are done. We can go back to our usual soccer program and this little chapter can be closed.

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But then came a little twist to the story.

The club could not find a junior coach. Hubby volunteered to take on the position. My heart did back flips.

On the first Saturday I packed the car, dressed the boys and went along expecting the worst. I sat down in the stadium, one hand on my phone texting my sister and the other hand wishing I had brought along a coffee. This was going to be a very long one hour.

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And here is where the story gets very interesting.

Hubby was amazing on the field. Amazing because I can’t grasp another word to describe how attentive he was to all the kids, how encouraging he was, how much fun the kids all seemed to have. The tired, sleep deprived face of the hubby who worked late nights was replaced with a face that lit up with pride each time the kids managed a tackle or kicked a goal. There was high five’s and clapping, somersaults on the field.

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Hold on a minute, this isn’t how the story is supposed to go.

My two boys had an absolute blast. After the hour had finished, hubby stayed on to coach the next team. I had to drag my boys back to the car to go home. They would have happily spent the whole day at daddy’s soccer club.

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The next chapter is even more interesting.

So when week two came around my guard was down. Somewhere in the web of pride I kept tangled inside I was starting to think that maybe this could work. Worse still, maybe this was a good idea. Well I didn’t have to mull over these thoughts for very long.

For out on that soccer pitch my boys came alive. AJ improved in his soccer skills more in the one week with his dad as coach, than all the soccer training of last year. PJ was flying in for tackles, going for goal and I’m pretty sure if he could have sprouted wings to fly with excitement he would have.

More so, the hubby who grabbed a taxi from the airport to the soccer club that morning, in his absolute exhaustion forgot work and lit up being the awesome coach he is proving to be.

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So the mummy, who thought she was always right, was very much wrong. My boys will keep playing soccer at their daddy’s club this year and I’ll be on the sidelines cheering.  

The fable here is not one about soccer, clubs, training sessions or match days. It is about letting go. White clenched fists of parenting sometimes need to be relaxed a little and new ideas given a chance.

 

Is there an awesome Dad in your family?
Does he coach a junior sport team? Do your kids play soccer?

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